For all the talk of work-life balance being better for business and technology making flexible working easier than ever, 40 per cent of workers in Britain feel their lives are still skewed towards work - and many businesses are reluctant to change that anytime soon.
Two thirds of employers do not offer flexible working, workers said, and less than a third of employers themselves said they offer the option to work from home, new research from Scottish Widows reveals. A similar number of businesses said they would not consider it an option, while 41 per cent said they couldn't increase flexibility because of concerns over productivity.
“The concept of ‘work family balance’ is not new, but the pace of recent technological advancement has created a constant connection between workers and the workplace, as we face a growing expectation to always be switched on – whether in our place of work, at home with our families, or travelling between the two," said Anita Frew, chair of the Centre for the Modern Family think tank.
“It’s time to rethink traditional ways of working and move towards a more agile approach. This will not only help employees forge a better work family balance, but to improve productivity, returning benefit to employers. We need to show businesses and government that the nation’s ‘work family balance’ has see-sawed too far in the direction of work. Together, a new, relevant approach must be found to help restore our equilibrium.”
Workers spend three-times longer working, commuting, or doing work at home, than they do with their families.
More than a quarter of those who admit to a work weighted balance said they have let their families down, nearly a third that they don't have time for dinner with family, and one in five that they argue with their partner of family.
At work, 28 per cent said they were less productive at work as a result and just under a quarter felt resentful towards their employer.